You may have heard about the girl who makes no trash. There was a YouTube video about her at one point that went somewhat viral. Although her idea is a noble one, for most people that lifestyle isn’t completely feasible. Recently another girl did this no-trash lifestyle in a week challenge and it brought this topic back into my mind. Personally, I have no desire to live a trash-free life, however I am sure there are steps that I could take to reduce my output. After reviewing these videos and a few other sources I have put together 10 tips to reducing your trash.
- Bring your bags. I know we all know to bring our reusable bags but it just so hard to remember them. I am seriously the worst. Every time I go to the store I see someone else with them and then get angry I forgot mine. So here’s the plan, I have picked out three bags for my car, three for my husband’s, and 3 for the house. I then placed a hook on the back of my front door so that after we emptied our bags they would go on the hook to be placed in the car the next time we left the house. Check back next week for a cute reminder for the car that I am putting together.
- Think before you purchase. Do you need this item? Will it last? Will this purchase replace something that is already working fine? If you don’t need it save the money and skip it.
- Compost. One of the first things we did when we moved into our house almost three years ago was create a compost bin. We wanted to keep all fruit and vegetable scraps out of the trash. To make this easy we keep a large plastic container on the counter with a lid. We place all fruit and vegetable waste in the bin and then take it out to our homemade compost bin outside every few days.
- Combing shipping. I love ordering from amazon but I hate it when I get four small boxes on my doorstep. To fix this I am trying to combine my orders as much as possible. Recently, we have been using the no-rush shipping option which gives you a credit to use for Amazon digital items. With the no-rush shipping Amazon will combine all orders over a few days and ship them all in one box. This works great if you don’t need it in two days and a great way to rack up credits for movie rentals and album purchases. HINT: If you are purchasing a few items do each item separately and select no-rush shipping to get the credit for each item in your order. They will ship all of these items together and you have enough promotional credits for a free movie rental.
- Recycle plastic bags. Even with the reusable bags everyone still ends up with plastic shopping bags. These, along with other plastic bags from packaging, newspapers and other places can be recycled at your grocery store. Generally there are bins out front. I keep a bag for these next to my regular recycling bin inside my home.
- Donate. Just because you are sick of that pair of shoes or that hat doesn’t mean that its trash. Keep a box somewhere in your home of useable items that can be donated instead of trashed. You’d be surprised how quickly you fill it.
- Is the clothing item too worn out to recycle? Save it for rags to clean the house with.
- Buy less packaged foods. When shopping, look and what your buying and how it is packaged. Skip single serve items or products with trays and other additional trash items. Generally speaking, healthier food comes less packaged so your helping the earth and your body.
- Kick the K-Cup habit (and purchased drinks altogether). I love K-Cups. They are so simple, but really are bad for our environment. Try out your old automatic drip coffee maker again and splurge for some good beans. They still might be cheaper than K-Cups. Don’t have an automatic drip machine? Try a French Press or Pour-over device like this one on Amazon. By making your coffee at home you are skipping a paper cup and saving a few bucks.
- Cut the paper products. Paper plates, paper napkins, Swiffer, Lysol wipes, and face wipes are all products that we might be able to cut back on. (Please note I did not say baby wipes, I am not asking that of anyone.) Think before you grab one of these products and consider using the “old-fashioned” methods. I am keeping more and more towels in my kitchen to use for clean uses. Of course, if the need is for meats and other bacteria laden issues use a paper towel and sanitize the surface, but why waste a paper towel to clean up some spilt water? Use your towels and just remember to wash them regularly.
It is my hope that these tips are able to help you to cut down on your trash output. Have a great tip? Add it to the comments below or tweet me @_amberdowns,